Where’s the Palestinian Mandela?

Recorded March 25, 2022

Listen to this conversation as a podcast

This webinar is Part 7 of an 8-part series of webinars. For more information regarding this series, and links to the other sessions, please click here.

Featuring Ahmed Abu Artema (Palestinian writer and activist), Marwa Fatafta (MENA Policy Manager at Access Now)

In this session we explored issues surrounding Palestinian civil society, and in particular human rights defenders and democracy activists, and the challenges and threats they face — including direct attacks by Israel, targeting by Palestinian authorities, and apathy/indifference from the international community in the face of these attacks.

Resources shared during the webinar

Ahmed Abu Artema

Marwa Fatafta


Other links

Al-Shabaka 5/21/21: The “TikTok intifada”

MEI/FMEP/ et al webinar 10/29/21: Israel’s Designation of Six Palestinian NGOs as “Terrorist”: Costs and Consequences

+972 Magazine (Maha Nassar) 10/2/20: US media talks a lot about Palestinians — just without Palestinians

Edward Said, 1984 (via JSTOR): Permission to Narrate

Haaretz 3/24/22: Israeli Soldiers Collect Personal Information of Foreign Activists in West Bank

Haaretz 3/24/22: Israeli Troops’ New Quota: Add 50 Palestinians to Tracking Database Every Shift


Reports re: apartheid

United Nations 3/21/22: Report of the Special Rapporteur on the situation of Human Rights in the Palestinian territories occupied since 1967

Amnesty International 2/1/22: Israel’s apartheid against Palestinians: Cruel system of domination and crime against humanity

B’tselem 1/12/21: A regime of Jewish supremacy from the Jordan River to the Mediterranean Sea: This is apartheid

Human Rights Watch 4/27/21: A Threshold Crossed – Israeli Authorities and the Crimes of Apartheid and Persecution



Ahmed Abu Artema is a Palestinian writer and activist who believes in civil nonviolent struggle to achieve justice, freedom, and equality. Ahmed’s family was expelled from their home in the Ramle district in 1948, and he was born in 1984 in Rafah, Gaza, where he now lives with his wife and four children. As an independent journalist in Gaza, he has written for dozens of publications (and in English in several U.S. publications The New York Times, the Nation, and the Journal of Palestine Studies) and authored a book in Arabic called “Organized Chaos.” He has also contributed to several documentaries, including the Al Jazeera film “Which Rafah Are You From?” about the tragic separation of Rafah following the Camp David Accords and its impact of displacing thousands of families, including his own. In 2018 he was featured in a documentary film by Karim Shah produced by Al Jazeera news network, “Gaza: Between Fire and Sea.” 

Marwa Fatafta leads Access Now’s work on digital rights in the Middle East and North Africa region as the MENA Policy Manager. She is an advisory board member of the Palestinian digital rights organization 7amleh, and a policy analyst at Al-Shabaka, The Palestinian Policy Network working on issues of political leadership, governance and accountability. Before joining Access Now, Marwa worked as the MENA Regional Advisor at Transparency International Secretariat in Berlin and coordinated regional and global efforts to mainstream gender into anti-corruption policies and norms. She previously served as a Communications Manager at the British Consulate-General in Jerusalem. She was a Fulbright scholar to the US and holds an MA in International Relations from Syracuse University and an MA in Development and Governance from the University of Duisburg-Essen. Marwa is a feminist killjoy, a painter, and a chocolate addict.